Data Preparation and Reduction Physicist

CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research

Geneva, Switzerland


Data Preparation and Reduction Physicist in the CERN Experimental Physics department (EP), Small and Medium Experiments (SME), NA62 Data Preparation and Reduction team (62).

You will join:

  • The Experimental Physics department (EP), carrying out research in the field of experimental particle physics;
  • It aims to provide a stimulating scientific atmosphere and remains an important reference center for the European physics community. It contributes to the education and training of young scientists;
  • The Small and Medium Experiments (SME) group, working on several different research programmes ranging from Rare Kaon Decays (NA62) to anti-atomic physics (AD).

The NA62 CERN team (62) playing an important role within the collaboration, with managerial and technical responsibility. It plays a central role defining the strategies of data taking and analysis of the data and serves as a beacon for the whole collaboration. Modern experiments like NA62 are composed by many sub-detectors requiring detailed calibration procedures and tuning. This is especially true for NA62 which is pushing the detector performance to the limit of what is achievable in terms of accuracy, precision and resolution. A particular important aspect of the NA62 software is that it has to push for the highest efficiency in particle reconstruction, since even small inefficiencies can lead to significant increase of backgrounds.

Offline data preparation and reduction is the fundamental step that enables the physics analysis of modern high energy physics experiments to be performed. The bookkeeping of versions of reconstruction software and data instances and the definition and implementation of the event model are essential in order to preserve a useful record that over the full cycle of the experiment. The optimization of the code to the newest computer and operating systems requires to cope with the conflicting requirements of speed and reliability.


As Data preparation and Reduction Physicist you will participate to the maintenance of the reconstruction and analysis code. You will take a major role in the maintenance of the existing offline software, in the design of new modules and algorithms for collaborative tools, and in the processing, reprocessing, preparation and reduction of NA62 data to make them available for physics analysis.

You will:

  • Gather, maintain and upgrade the collaborative tools required to distribute the analysis in order to enable the analysis of the data for collaborators inside and outside CERN;
  • Complete and maintain the analysis framework, together with the relevant structures and procedures for fast feedback on data quality during and after the data taking;
  • Interact with the sub-detectors groups to make sure that all the requirements are taken into account and you will report directly to the management of the experiment;
  • Validate and check that the software runs efficiently on new platforms that may become the standard at CERN;
  • Be responsible for the catalogue of the data;
  • Update the data model to fulfil the requirements of the data analysis and define the format of the data for physics analysis taking into account the requirements specified by the collaboration.

Qualification required

PhD in the field of physics, or equivalent.

Experience and competencies

The experience required for this post is:

  • Collaborative development of C++ code for the analysis of the data of high energy physics experiments;
  • Implementation of user requirements and demonstrated experience in processing and booking of large data sets;
  • Preparation for physics analysis:experience in physics analysis, pattern recognition, applied statistics, knowledge and use of reconstruction algorithms (tracking, vertex finding, cluster finding,...);
  • Experience with large catalogues and databases would be an advantage.

The technical competencies required for this post are:

  • Experimental data reduction and triggering;
  • Requirements definition and management: collecting, discussing and analysis with the user community of the reconstruction and analysis code;
  • Programming/Software development: proficiency in the c++ programming language is crucial for this post;
  • Testing: code validation and testing for the development of accurate reconstruction and analysis tools to be used in the data preparation of na62;
  • Development of HEP data processing frameworks: event model, detector and beam description, persistency, interactive programming, visualization;
  • Methods and tools for collaborative software development: software integration, version control, automated build and test, performance optimization, distributed deployment, documentation.

The behavioural competencies required for this post are:

  • Achieving results: delivering prompt and efficient service taking into account customer needs;
  • Learning and sharing knowledge: sharing knowledge and expertise freely and willingly with others; coaching others to ensure knowledge transfer;
  • Demonstrating flexibility: adapting quickly and resourcefully to shifting priorities and requirements.

The language competencies required are:

  • Spoken and written English or French: ability to understand and speak the other language in professional contexts. Ability to draw-up technical specifications and/or scientific reports and to make oral presentations in at least one of the two languages.

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